Wienen retains championship lead with second-place finish
The 2016 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship (ATVMX) presented by CST Tires, an AMA National Championship, continued this past weekend, June 18, at the popular Sunset Ridge MX Park in Walnut, Illinois. With perfect race conditions, the world’s fastest ATV racers were able to fully showcase their talents for the large fan base with Maxxis/Elka Suspension/Liquid Wrench’s Joel Hetrick going 2-1 for the overall win.
The ATVriders.com Top Qualifier Award went to Wienen Motorsports/Yamaha/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Racecraft/FLY Racing’s Chad Wienen who turned the fastest lap time during the timed qualifying sessions. Wienen looked to use that speed to take a win in front of his hometown friends and family.
When the gate dropped signifying the start of the first moto, Maxxis/FLY Racing/Baldwin Motorsports’ John Natalie jumped out to the early lead claiming the SSi Decals Holeshot Award. However, Wienen would quickly take over the lead by the second turn, with Hetrick charging hard in second.
By the second lap, JB Racing/Root River Racing/Gold Speed Tires’ Jeffrey Rastrelli had worked his way into the third place position. The top three racers would maintain their consistency for the remainder of the moto with Wienen crossing the line victorious and Hetrick and Rastrelli following in second and third.
Koster Racing/Blommel Motorsports/Walsh Racecraft’s Brett Musick earned the SSi Decals Holeshot award in the second moto, but Hetrick and Wienen would capitalize on their favorable start and pass Musick by the conclusion of the first lap.
Maxxis/Liquid Wrench/Elka Suspension/Honda’s David Haagsma would be running one of his best races in third, until being accompanied by AGX Designs/Walsh Racecraft/Maxxis’ Nick Gennusa. The 2015 Rookie of the Year took command of the third place position on the fourth lap. Much like Haagsma, Gennusa found himself running one of the best races of his professional career.
As the moto wore on, Joel Hetrick would slowly start pulling away from the rest of the pro field and Wienen settled into a comfortable second. Rastrelli would end up facing illness as he was working his way through the pack which ultimately took him out of podium contention.
Hetrick took home the prestigious overall win going 2-1 with Wienen following in second with a 1-2 moto tally. A pair of fourth place finishes earned Haagsma third overall. This weekend marked the first time that the California native landed a spot on the overall podium.
“I started off the day by taking the fastest qualifier position, and with a strong start in moto one I was able to make two quick passes to take over the lead by the second turn and lead all the way to the checkers,” said Wienen. “The first lap of the second moto was intense and I made two different passes for the lead that I was not able to make stick and had to settle for second. My quad was ripping all day long thanks to all my sponsors. It was so awesome to have the hometown fans and friends behind me. I was digging hard for a win, but it just wasn’t enough in the second moto to get it done.”
Gennusa would just miss the overall podium in fourth, but would still manage to grab his best finish of the 2016 ATVMX season. Root River Racing/Hoosier Tires/Rage ATV’s Josh Upperman trailed Gennusa in fifth overall (5-6).
Perhaps the most impressive ride in the second moto came from Maxxis/Root River Racing/JB Racing’s Thomas Brown who was able to work his way from outside the top ten on the first lap to fifth. Brown would end up taking home sixth overall (7-5).
Savage Motorsports/Maxxis/Walsh Racecraft/Elka Suspension/BCS Performance’s Ronnie Higgerson landed a top ten finish with seventh, and Rastrelli would follow in eighth (3-16). Musick scored a ninth overall (12-7), and Natalie would round out the top ten at the Sunset Ridge ATVMX National.
The ProX ATVMX circuit travels to Millville, Minnesota in two weeks, July 2, for the Spring Creek ATVMX National.
For more information on the 2016 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship, visit the official series website at www.atvmotocross.com. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #ATVMX.
Overall National Championship Standings
- Chad Wienen (304)
- Joel Hetrick (283)
- John Natalie (210)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (201)
- Josh Upperman (199)
- Nick Gennusa (186)
- Thomas Brown (183)
- David Haagsma (174)
- Ronnie Higgerson (141)
- Brett Musick (140)